Safety Tips for Dealing with a Leaking RV Propane Tank

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As with all appliances and components on your motorhome, it’s highly important to take proper precaution when maintaining and dealing with RV propane tanks. As propane is a volatile gas, you don’t want to cut any corners or forget any steps in the process. To teach you some of the most important features of caring for the RV propane tank system, Dave Solberg walks you step by step through a few safety tips for disconnecting, filling and monitoring your RV propane tank.

First things first, all RVers need to be aware of the official methods mandated by the National Fire Prevention Association for dealing with a malfunctioning RV propane system. You should know what to do in the case of a rotten egg odor inside your coach (distinctive to a faulty RV propane system) or a repetitive chirping caused by an LP leak detector. If either of these occur, it’s vital that you extinguish immediately any open flames present in appliances such as your water heater, stovetop burners or refrigerator cooling system — any that could cause a spark.

The NFPA recommends next shutting off the LP valve on the RV propane tank at the source, and then opening all windows and doors to fully ventilate the motorhome and get all fumes out of the coach.

Once the unit is clear of that odorous smell and you’ve ensured the leak has subsided, you must take your RV into a certified filling station or maintenance shop to have it inspected. Technicians will check every component of the propane system for leaks using a water column test for proper working condition. Don’t ever hesitate to ask an expert to take a look if you’re not sure what to do. You can’t take any risks when it comes to the RV propane tank system, as gas leaks can lead to unexpected dangerous situations.

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